Clearly that a parasite of a snake over 7 cm was parasitic on the brain of a woman who suffered from a mysterious disease

An Australian neurosurgeon removed a live 3-inch (7.62 cm) nematode from the brain of a 64-year-old woman in 2022. Since this nematode was a snake parasite, it is reported that it is the first time that a snake parasite has been confirmed in the human brain.

Woman's mystery illness turns out to be 3-inch snake parasite in her brain | Ars Technica

A 64-year-old woman living in Australia has been suffering from symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and dry cough since around January 2021, and visited a local hospital in southeastern New South Wales, Australia. Blood tests diagnosed the woman as having an infection, but scans showed signs of pneumonia and lesions in the spleen and liver. However, tests for known microorganisms and parasites were negative, as were tests for cancer and autoimmune diseases. As a result, he was diagnosed with 'pneumonia of unknown cause' and was given the steroid prednisolone.

Three weeks later, she was admitted to another hospital because of recurrent fever and persistent cough. Doctors here also look for lung, liver, and spleen damage and signs of infection. In addition, a blood test detected ``high-concentration eosinophils (a type of white blood cell),'' which is a proof of fighting parasite-derived infections. Although the test for human roundworm infection was negative, he was concerned about false negatives, and finally administered the antiparasitic drug ivermectin.

Her liver and lungs will then improve in mid-2021 and early 2022. By taking another drug to keep the eosinophil count down, I also succeeded in reducing the prednisolone dose.

However, after that, the patient woman began to suffer from forgetfulness and deterioration of depression. Therefore, when the brain was examined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a lesion that increased in the right frontal lobe of the woman was discovered. So, in June 2022, the woman underwent surgery, and a brain surgeon succeeded in removing a living, writhing parasite from her brain.

Based on morphological characteristics, the research team identifies this nematode as `` Ophidascaris robertsi '', which is known to parasitize snakes and mammals that feed on snakes. Genetic testing later confirmed that the parasite was Ophidus callis loperti. The female patient is believed to be the first human reportedly infected with this parasite, and the first time the parasite has been found to burrow into the brain of a mammal.

Professor Nocarina Kennedy of the Australian National University said: 'Trying to identify microscopic larvae that have not previously been identified as causing infections in humans is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I did.'

In addition, the patient's woman took ivermectin and another antiparasitic drug, albendazole, after removing Ophidus Calis Loperti, and her lung and liver lesions improved in a few months.

Adults of Ophidascaris loperti usually inhabit the baby's esophagus and stomach, release eggs into the feces of snakes, and spread the infection to other mammals. According to a team of doctors, the woman was looking for New Zealand spinach around a lake near her home when she picked up eggs of Ophidus callis loperti and ate them without washing them thoroughly or cooking them. I'm assuming it's gone. He points out that prednisolone, which was administered in the initial treatment, may have helped Ophidascaris loperti to enter the central nervous system.

Professor Kennedy, who reported a strange case of snake parasites parasitizing humans, emphasizes the importance of thoroughly washing food taken outside.

in Science, Posted by logu_ii